Prices of DRam soared by a further 10 per cent last weekend, compounding a 25 per cent rise which happened at the end of last week. The surge in memory prices started after the South Korean government imposed a drastic cut of 37 per cent on export licences on manufacturers Samsung, Hyundai and Goldstar last Wednesday. Between them, the three conglomerates produce 50 per cent of the memory chips worldwide.
Memory distributors warned dealers against speculating on DRam and said that prices could continue to rise through the year.
Roy Taylor, MD of Vanguard, said: ?Most people think this is a short term increase but my take is it could be the beginning of a longer shortage. For dealers that?s good news because if memory prices had continued to slump, an 8Mb Simm would have been $20 by summer and that would have caused layoffs and redundancies.?
The changes are significant. This time last week the distributors were selling 8Mb Simms for $21 with prices now at $28 while a 16Mb part has risen from $50 to $60 and, according to Taylor, still rising.
Sukh Rayat, MD of distributor Flashpoint, said: ?Memory prices have moved up significantly and no-one seems to know what the market price is. People have stopped quoting prices. The move is significantly affecting 16Mb parts - that?s gone through the roof. We?re telling dealer customers, ?Buy what you need but don?t speculate.??
A spokesperson for distributor Dane-Elec said: ?We?re out of stock on standard Simms and we just don?t know what?s going to happen. Memory prices are up by a good 10 per cent over last weekend.?
The South Korean government took the decision to cut back production last Wednesday night after surpluses in the memory market caused worries over the impact on the large conglomerates, or ?chaebols? in the peninsula. In March, worldwide memory manufacturers are set to agree a reference price for the chips.
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